Best Small Espresso Machine: Our Top Picks

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

Our review process | Our team

I'm fully aware that lots of my Coffeeness readers are searching for the best small espresso machine. After all, more and more folks are downsizing to tiny homes, studio apartments or camper vans.

Sage The Bambino Plus Latte Macchiato

I’m fully aware that lots of my Coffeeness readers are searching for the best small espresso machine. After all, more and more folks are downsizing to tiny homes, studio apartments or camper vans.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a high-quality espresso shot. Far from it; these days that’s even an option if you’re camping in the middle of nowhere!

I’ve put together a list of the five best small espresso machines on the market. There’s something for everyone here, ranging from entry-level classics to sophisticated dream machines. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Best Small Espresso Machines at a Glance

Here’s a quick look at the small espresso machines I’ll be reviewing today.

1Product List Image

Automatic milk frother

Easy to use

Great value

2Product List Image
Best Manual Lever

Flair Espresso Maker

Innovative design

Makes excellent espresso

Includes carry case

3Product List Image
Best Portable

WACACO Nanopresso

Compact and portable

Easy to use

Surprisingly authentic espresso

4Product List Image

Straightforward operation

Very affordable

Small footprint

5Product List Image

High quality construction

Good steam pressure

Easy to use

Why Buy a Small Espresso Machine?

For the most part, all the models in my home espresso machine guide 2024 are relatively small. I mean, they’re designed to fit into domestic kitchens, so manufacturers always try to keep things compact.

With that said, if you’re looking for the best small espresso machine it’s probably because you want something particularly streamlined. After all, I can think of plenty of instances wherein a regular sized espresso machine just wouldn’t work. For example, counter space is going to come at a premium in dorm rooms, studio apartments and RVs.

In those situations, an espresso machine that you can easily move around or even stow away is going to be just the ticket.

Fortunately, there are loads of excellent small espresso machines out there, many of which don’t sacrifice anything when it comes to quality. Heck, there are even a couple of awesome portable machines on my list, either of which will satisfy the most demanding of espresso aficionados!

Stay Updated on Our Exclusive Espresso Beans!
Be the first to know when our perfectly roasted Brazilian coffee beans, optimized for Breville, DeLonghi, Gaggia, Solis, and more, become available. Enjoy a chocolatey, smooth taste with a hint of acidity. Enter your name and email below to get notified.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

The 5 Best Small Espresso Machines

Breville Bambino Plus

Breville Bambino Plus

PROS

  • Automatic milk frother
  • Very easy to use
  • Great value for money
  • Stainless steel housing

CONS

  • Espresso could be better

When I started compiling this list of the best small espresso machines, the Breville Bambino Plus immediately sprang to mind. From there, it wasn’t much of a leap to award it the “Best Overall” title.

To put it bluntly, the Bambino Plus won’t check all the boxes if you’re looking for an authentic barista experience. However, newbies and those looking for an affordable alternative to a super automatic espresso machine will love this thing.

That’s not to say the Bambino Plus can’t deliver excellent espresso; thanks to its 54mm portafilter and automatic pre-infusion function, it’s more than capable. What’s more, the Bambino Plus has an awesome automatic steam wand that’ll froth milk for your latte macchiato. Heck, you can even adjust the temperature and texture of the milk to your taste.

As you’d expect from Breville, the Bambino Plus espresso machine features plenty of sturdy metal in its construction. While I found it to be a little too lightweight, it certainly fits the bill if space is tight in your kitchen. In fact, I remember dubbing it the “Mini-Me” espresso machine during my testing!

Costing $498.90, the Breville Bambino Plus ain’t cheap. Still, considering its quality and performance, I’d say it’s more than worth the investment.

See Also: Breville Bambino Plus Review

Flair Classic Espresso Maker

Flair Classic Espresso Maker

PROS

  • High-quality construction
  • Fantastic design
  • No electricity required
  • Makes superb espresso

CONS

  • Steep learning curve
  • No steam wand

The Flair Classic Espresso Maker has been cropping up a lot lately at Coffeeness. In fact, it recently featured in my guide to the best espresso machines under $200. To be honest, I’m totally intrigued by this stylish portable espresso maker, especially given its high quality build and exceptional performance.

Flair Espresso produces a whole range of manual espresso machines, and the Classic is the most affordable option at $229.00. Still, don’t imagine that means this thing isn’t the real deal.

As it happens, you’re able to pull professional-level espresso shots with this espresso machine, thanks to its 18 gram filter basket. Plus, the Flair Classic’s rugged construction means it’ll last for a really long time.

Of course, the Flair Classic is a manual lever espresso machine, so you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of this method of pulling a double shot of liquid gold. And seeing as there’s no steam wand this is a machine for purists. Oh, and you’ll need a good grinder to go with this small espresso machine. Don’t worry, though – there are some affordable options in my burr coffee grinder guide!

Seeing as the Flair Classic espresso machine doesn’t need electricity, you can put it just about anywhere. Plus, at 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) high and 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) deep, it isn’t exactly going to take up much room. As an added bonus, the Flair classic can be easily disassembled and stored in its very own carry case.

Related: Best Portable Espresso Makers

WACACO Nanopresso

WACACO Nanopresso

PROS

  • Ingenious design
  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Makes authentic espresso

CONS

  • Lots of small parts
  • Not the easiest to clean

Continuing with the portable espresso maker theme, the WACACO Nanopresso is definitely worth checking out if you simply must have espresso while you’re out in the woods.

Actually, that describes me perfectly, so I was more than happy to take a chance on this nifty device by spending just $84.90.

As you’ve probably guessed, the Nanopresso really delivers. Thanks to its ingenious design, you’re able to create the pressure necessary for espresso extraction by pumping a pop-out piston with your thumb. What’s more, everything you need is contained neatly within the compact and durable housing, including a tamper and even an espresso cup.

The WACACO Nanopresso has a pressurized portafilter, so you can get decent results using pre-ground coffee. Still, I’d recommend picking up a portable grinder if you’re going to take this thing on the road. You’ll find plenty of great options in my manual coffee grinder guide 2024.

Ultimately, the WACACO Nanopresso is going to be the best small espresso machine for van lifers, hikers and anyone who wants more than just a cup of cowboy coffee when they’re out in the world.

See Also: WACACO Nanopresso Review

DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe

Arne standing next to the DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe.

PROS

  • Compact and affordable
  • Straightforward operation
  • Solid steam wand
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • Not suitable for experienced baristas

Beginners searching for the best small espresso machine might not want to look further than the DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe.

Not only will this pint-sized espresso machine deliver consistent and tasty results, it’ll only set you back $249.99. And once you take the time to appreciate everything you’re getting with this machine, that price will seem even more reasonable.

Thanks to its pressurized filter baskets and programmable volumetric control, dialing in your espresso shots with this coffee maker is a piece of cake. Plus, the DeLonghi allows you to choose from three temperature settings, which is quite sophisticated for such a budget-friendly machine.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, the Dedica Deluxe is equipped with a thermoblock heating system, so it’ll be ready to go in seconds.

During my testing, the standout feature of this small espresso machine was its manual steam wand. The pannarello attachment has two settings – one for creating silky microfoam and another for just straight steamed milk. I have to say I was able to whip up a pretty awesome cappuccino with the minimum of fuss.

Overall, the DeLonghi Dedica is a compact machine that’s easy to use and won’t break the bank. What more could you ask for?

See Also: DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe Review

Casabrews CM 5418 Espresso Machine

Casabrews Espresso Machine

PROS

  • High-quality materials
  • Very compact
  • Built-in pressure gauge
  • Straightforward operation

CONS

  • Pressurized filter baskets

If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly espresso machine that actually delivers, look no further than the Casabrews CM 5418 Espresso Machine.

Having tested this thing out in the Coffeeness kitchen, I can tell you that it’s a steal at $139.99. Sure, Casabrews isn’t exactly a household name and that might make you a little nervous. However, I’d say the CM 5418 easily outperforms many budget machines from the big name manufacturers.

For starters, this compact beauty is really well made. I was actually surprised by the amount of metal in the machine’s construction. What’s more, the Casabrews espresso machine sports advanced features like a pressure gauge, thermoblock heating and a digital PID controller.

Heck, this espresso machine even offers volumetric control so you’re free to dial in your ideal extraction.

Sure, you’ll have to contend with pressurized filter baskets. Still, I made some darn tasty espresso with this machine and its professional steam wand is capable of whipping up some really silky microfoam.

See Also: Casabrews Espresso Machine Review

Best Small Espresso Machine Comparison Chart

Breville Bambino PlusWACACO NanopressoDeLonghi Dedica EC685Solis Barista Perfetta
Manufacturer

Breville

De’Longhi

Solis

Model number

BES500BSS1BUS1

EC685

1170

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Manual espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel with plastic parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Stainless steel

Color options

Brushed Stainless Steel

Black, Metallic, Red, White

Black, Stainless Steel, White

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

54 mm

51 mm

54 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

64.2 fl oz / 1.9 l

37.2 fl oz / 1.1 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

4.8 in / 12.2 cm

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

Grinder

N/A

N/A

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

N/A

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

N/A

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

0

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1560 W

1300 W

1550 W

Weight

3.1 lb / 1.4 kg

9.3 lb / 4.2 kg

19.1 lb / 8.7 kg

Dimensions

12.2 x 7.7 x 12.6 in
31.0 x 19.6 x 32.0 cm

12.0 x 5.9 x 13.0 in
30.5 x 15.0 x 33.0 cm

12.5 x 6.0 x 17.0 in
31.8 x 15.2 x 43.2 cm

Warranty

2 years

1 year

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Tamper, Dosing tool, Stainless steel milk jug, filter baskets, Cleaning supplies, User manual.

Included Accessories: Tamper / coffee scoop, 3 x filter baskets, Instruction booklet. Optional water filter not included.

Included Accessories: Tamper, Coffee scoop, 3 x Filter baskets, Cleaning brushes, Milk jug, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$498.90

$84.90

$249.99

$359.00

Breville Bambino PlusWACACO NanopressoDeLonghi Dedica EC685Solis Barista Perfetta
Manufacturer

Breville

De’Longhi

Solis

Model number

BES500BSS1BUS1

EC685

1170

Product category

Hybrid espresso machine

Manual espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel with plastic parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Stainless steel

Color options

Brushed Stainless Steel

Black, Metallic, Red, White

Black, Stainless Steel, White

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

54 mm

51 mm

54 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

64.2 fl oz / 1.9 l

37.2 fl oz / 1.1 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

4.8 in / 12.2 cm

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

Grinder

N/A

N/A

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

N/A

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

N/A

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

0

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1560 W

1300 W

1550 W

Weight

3.1 lb / 1.4 kg

9.3 lb / 4.2 kg

19.1 lb / 8.7 kg

Dimensions

12.2 x 7.7 x 12.6 in
31.0 x 19.6 x 32.0 cm

12.0 x 5.9 x 13.0 in
30.5 x 15.0 x 33.0 cm

12.5 x 6.0 x 17.0 in
31.8 x 15.2 x 43.2 cm

Warranty

2 years

1 year

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: Tamper, Dosing tool, Stainless steel milk jug, filter baskets, Cleaning supplies, User manual.

Included Accessories: Tamper / coffee scoop, 3 x filter baskets, Instruction booklet. Optional water filter not included.

Included Accessories: Tamper, Coffee scoop, 3 x Filter baskets, Cleaning brushes, Milk jug, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$498.90

$84.90

$249.99

$359.00

How to Choose the Best Small Espresso Machine

By now you will have probably narrowed down your search for the best small espresso machine. As we’ve seen, there are lots of options available, ranging from beginner-friendly espresso makers to pocket-sized portable wonders. Still, there are a few things to consider before committing to a specific machine. Let’s take a look!

Budget

As with any purchase, your budget will play a huge part in helping you make a decision. Of course, there’s always the credit card option, but I’m here to remind you to live within your means! Anyway, none of the espresso machines on my list are crazy expensive, and one or two are downright cheap, so you’ve definitely got options.

With that said, do remember that you’ll probably need to budget for a burr coffee grinder if you don’t already own one. However, also remember that you’ll be saving a ton of cash by making espresso at home instead of spending money at the coffee shop every day.

Type of Machine

WACACO Nanopresso Overview

When it comes to choosing the best small espresso machine, you’ll need to decide between a semi-automatic machine that’s going to stay in your kitchen or a portable device that can go anywhere.

Personally, I love machines like the Flair Classic and WACACO Nanopresso, and not just because they make fantastic espresso. However, a simple, stripped-down espresso maker like that won’t be everyone’s cup of coffee.

Of course, you could say that a machine like the Solis Barista Perfetta is portable in that you could use it in a camper van. However, it’s not exactly the kind of machine you could throw in your backpack!

Build Quality and Design

Just because an espresso machine is small doesn’t mean it can’t be sturdy and well made. So, I always recommend looking for something with plenty of stainless steel housing and durable components.

As for the overall design aesthetic of your machine, I’d say it’s best to try and find something that’ll fit in with what’s already happening in your kitchen. Because let’s face it, even the best espresso machine is going to look a lot bigger if it’s sticking out like a sore thumb!

Features

Solis Barista Perfetta Plus espresso machine making a cappuccino

It’s easy to get lured in by an espresso machine with all the features under the sun. However, you should think about whether you really need programmable volumetric control and adjustable temperature settings.

Essentially, if you’re just looking for something straightforward and easy to operate, stuff like that won’t be necessary. On the flip side, those of you looking to improve your barista skills should look for a machine that’ll keep you engaged once you’ve achieved espresso ninja status.

What’s especially important to consider is whether you need a good milk frother. If you only drink straight espresso, that won’t matter, but if you enjoy a daily espresso macchiato, you’ll want to have the option to create latte art.

Decision Time

If you were worried that even the best small espresso machine would be little more than a toy, you’re probably breathing a sigh of relief. As it happens, there are compact machines out there that make some of the best espresso I’ve tasted.

Of course, you’ll need to use freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans and grind them fresh, but you already knew that, right?

Ultimately, you won’t have to spend much money to get hold of a pretty fantastic small espresso machine, whether it’s something that’ll live in your kitchen or travel with you to distant shores. Either way, there’s a steady source of great espresso in your future!

What’s the best small espresso machine in your opinion? Does my list need to be longer? I look forward to reading about it in the comments section!

Updated: 9. April 2024
Your coffee expert
Team Image
Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Table of Contents